Friday, November 25, 2005

A Thanksgiving Story

thanksgiving dinner

I feared that this Thanksgiving would be a terribly sad one, with no family and no big dinners. Good friends make missing home a little easier to bear, though.

A Thanksgiving Story

an american, eating not mashed potatoes

It was a sad Thanksgiving, indeed. An American in Beijing - the only American in her class - had to attend 4 hours of Chinese instruction on Thanksgiving morning. Her classmates and teachers commented on how sad she looked. "It's Thanksgiving in America," she said.

She had Chinese food for breakfast, and Japanese food for lunch. She had a snack of a sesame bun filled with red bean paste. "What are these things?" she wondered. These are not mashed potatoes! This sign is not in English. For one day, I want to be home."

an american, eating not turkey

The Americans in Beijing were sad this day. There were so few of them, and so few turkeys available in the restaurants. The only turkeys were the 400 imported from America by one restaurant owner, and those were all reserved by greedy expatriates with excellent foresight.

The Americans roamed the streets of Beijing, searching for something to remind them of home. They were on a pilgrimage.

construction worker, carving not turkey

Everyone around the sad Americans was oblivious to the sadness they felt. People went to work, construction continued, and vendors remained true to their daily shouts of, "Hey! Friend! Come here and you look!"

What a lonely state it was indeed.

sweet mana!

But hope was not lost for the young Americans! On their pilgrimage, they collected savory ingredients for a humble feast: potatoes, garlic, chives, yoghurt, and spices. They also gathered the tools for preparing the feast: two wooden spoons, two knives, and a large bowl.

preparations for the humble feast

The Americans washed the potatoes with care and cut them for the boiling. They peeled garlic while discussing the land they left behind.

an american, toiling

And how the Americans did toil in preparation for the feast. Using rudimentary tools found in their still strange new land, they adapted and worked to create a food that could comfort both their stomachs and hearts.

mashed potatoes

At last, after much toiling, the Americans achieved the mashed potatoes. There was much rejoicing and tasting of the goods.

rejoicing pilgrim, eating mashed potatoes

And Sister Hillary did rejoice and eat the mashed potatoes.

rejoicing pilgrims, eating mashed potatoes

And Brother Donny and Brother Gene did rejoice and eat the mashed potatoes.

And the pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving in a new land. They were greatly contented by their feast, and spread joy and fellowship to all they encountered.

The End


At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Jeni said...

I love this story. You take beautiful pictures as always. I miss you. I hope I can see you soon. We'll eat real pizza.

Sorry we missed your call. We were in Hammond. We hope you call again soon.


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